A wrestling champion from Iran recently received two death sentences for protesting against the government's economic policies back in 2018. The courts in Shiraz sentenced 27-year old Navid Afkari, and it has led to widespread outrage among many human rights activists as well as Iranian-Americans.
Afkari was reportedly part of hundreds of demonstrators who took to the streets in August 2018 protesting against the country's economic situation, which has gotten worse over the years. Along with the two death sentences, Afkari will serve six years and six months in prison and 74 lashes. Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted a side by side photo on Afkari's mother, and in the most recent photo, the mother is clearly upset with her son being sentenced to death.
#Navid_Afkari 's brothers, Vahid and Habib, were sentenced to prison and lashes. The 3 men were brutally tortured by the notorious Shiraz Intelligence Police to make forced confessions. #StopExecutionsInIran #ازادشان_کنید #اعدام_نکنید https://t.co/DjILV1ejBj pic.twitter.com/D3sMGfQ7ST— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) August 29, 2020
This is what the Islamic Republic of Iran does to a mother.
Her name is Behieh Namjou. The regime has sentenced her son #NavidAfkari to death for a simply protesting. Her other sons are unjustly imprisoned
She’s gone from a cheerful and happy mother into a sad and gloomy mother pic.twitter.com/6bqjIqQCw2— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 31, 2020
"I'm desperately asking for help from anyone who can hear my voice," she said in a video obtained by Fox News. Former MMA star Ben Askren shared the news on his Twitter account and denounce the government for the sentencing. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) published an image of a letter from Afkari, which said the Iranian authorities tortured him until he confessed to the charges against him. The letter stated Afkari's head was covered with a plastic bad and alcohol was poured into his nostrils.
This is what a real authoritarian regime look like. https://t.co/HRgh1SsBUq— Bionic Ben (@Benaskren) August 30, 2020
"Champion wrestler Navid Afkari has been sentenced to death for participating in anti-government protests in Iran actress Nazanin Boniadi wrote on Twitter. "Those close to him have said he was subjected to a forced confession under torture. Stop Executions In Iran." Afkari's brother, Vahid, received a sentence of 54 years and six months in prison with 74 lashes. A third brother, Habib, received 27 years and three months with 74 lashes. Navid Afkari won several wrestling medals in Iranian tournaments.